THE CENTRAL COUNCIL.
The Sixteenth Annual Meeting of the Central Council was held at the Church House on Whitsun Tuesday, June 5th, 1906, when there were present 60 out of 86 elected representatives, and 6 out of ten Honorary Members.
ELECTION OF PRESIDENT.
The Hon. Secretary, in temporarily taking the chair, said that the first was the election of President. There had only been one nomination sent in, and he need not say that was the name of Sir Arthur Heywood.
The Rev. F. E. Robinson in proposing Sir Arthur Heywood as President for the ensuing term of the Council, said to those who had attended previous triennial Council Meetings, there was no need for him to say a word of praise, while to those who were there for the first time he would say that the longer they attended the Council Meetings under the presidency of Sir Arthur the more would they appreciate his conduct in the chair.
The Rev. T. L. Papillon seconded.
The resolution having been adopted with applause, the President then took the chair. He said he had to thank the mover and seconder of the resolution and to all present for the way in which they had accepted the resolution, by which he became the President for the present triennial term of the Council. As he had said on previous occasions, he esteemed it as an honour to occupy the position, and could assure them all that he would in the future as in the past, endeavour to do all he possibly could for the benefit of the Council.
ELECTION OF HON. SECRETARY.
The President having announced that there was but one nomination for the post of Hon. Secretary,
The Rev. F. E. Robinson said no one could have forgotten the work done by the late Mr. Bulwer, but whom not only the Council but the Exercise had benefited. He had pleasure in proposing the re-election of Mr. Davies to the post, as he was sure Mr. Davies had been found to be the right man in the right place.
The Rev. G. F. Coleridge seconded.
The President said he could heartily endorse all that had been said. Everyone felt the great loss to the Council by the death of Mr. Bulwer. He, the President, was confident as he was at the first, that the best successor the Council could select for the post was Mr. Davies. He was not at all surprised that there was no desire to make a change, and appoint someone else. He trusted that the various representatives and officials of the different Associations would save Mr. Davies’ time as much as possible. The clergyman of a parish, especially if he was a family man, was generally a busy man, and a body like the Council could not have all his time. He trusted that all during the present triennial term of the Council, would assist by seeing that Secretaries of the various Associations sent in their contributions with list of representatives and their addresses at an early date, and so lighten the work of the Hon. Secretary.
The resolution having been adopted with applause, the Rev. C. D. P. Davies said he could assure the Council that the work was not only a pleasure to him, but was most willingly done. He was glad to say that he was assisted by some Secretaries of Associations by the early remittance of subscriptions, but it was in the last few weeks that the rush came, caused by a few who were late in sending, and it would greatly assist if those gentlemen who hitherto had been late, would send in sooner in the future. If they all would bear in mind that subscriptions became due on January 1st of each year, and act accordingly, the rush to a large extent would be avoided.
Letters of regret for absence were read from the Revs. H. E. Tilney Bassett, and A. H. F. Boughey, and from Messrs. N. J. Pitstow, W. Snowdon, and F. E. Ward.
The minutes of the previous meeting having been read and passed, the Hon. Secretary submitted the statement of accounts: Balance in hand from previous year £37 7s. 10d.; Sales during previous year £7 2s. 8d.; at the Meeting 2s. 1d.; Subscriptions from Associations £11 2s. 6d.; Sales last year £2 12s. 0d.; Total £58 7s. 1d. The expenditure was: Meeting at Canterbury £2 14s. 6d.; Printing and Stationery £11 5s. 9d.; Postages 11s. 10d.; refunded Bemrose and Sons overpaid £1 12s. 0d.; Balance in bank £42 3s. 10d. It was estimated that the publications in hand for sale were of the value of £88 16s. 0d.
On the proposition of Mr. Daniell, seconded by Mr. Dains, the accounts, which had been audited by the Standing Committee, were passed.
The Hon. Secretary announced that the following Hon. Members retired by rotation: Revs. J. H. Pilkington and C. D. P. Davies, Messrs. J. A. Trollope, F. E. Ward, J. Carter, J. Pettit, J. S. Pritchett.
The President said the Standing Committee had under consideration the re-election of the Rev. J. H. Pilkington and Mr. F. E. Ward, neither of whom appeared able to attend the Council’s meetings. There was no objection by the Standing Committee to the re-election of either gentlemen, but if their places were not filled, there would be two vacancies which was not any too many, as occasion might arise when it would be thought desirable to elect someone who might fall out as a representative.
On the proposition of the Rev. F. E. Robinson, seconded by the Rev. W. W. C. Baker, the names given above with the exception referred to, were re-elected Hon. Members.
The President said Mr. G. Williams by change of residence had now ceased to be a representative. The Standing Committee recommended Mr. Williams should be elected an Hon. Member, so that the Council should retain his services. This would still leave two vacancies.
On the proposition of the Rev. C. E. Matthews, seconded by Mr. H. White, Mr. Williams was elected an Hon. Member.
THE EDUCATION BILL.
The President said hitherto he had not thought it necessary except on one occasion to commence the meeting with an address to the Council. The exception was at the Sheffield meeting, at which time there was a violent attack upon the Church in Wales, which attack happily did not succeed. As a body of Churchmen, they considered they had a very great stake in the matter by the position which they occupied as Church officers, and that it was their distinct duty to protest against the attack. There was now another attack and a more serious one upon the Church. As a body of churchmen coming from all parts of the country, they could do a large amount of good in standing up for the rights of Churchmen in their respective districts. There was a duty cast upon everyone who was interested in the welfare of the Church. He was, as they would be aware, referring to the so-called Education Bill of 1906. It would be impossible to sketch out the provisions of the Bill in the few minutes which he would occupy. It was not an Education Bill, there was nothing in it about Education. It was a Bill for establishment of School Board teaching in all the Voluntary Schools. A great deal of Board School teaching was at present good, because the teachers had been trained in Church Training Colleges, and many of them took a deep interest in the religious teaching. If however the second part of the Bill became law, the whole of the colleges might apparently be secularised, and teachers would not get that religious training which they now received. How then could that religious teaching now given in the Board Schools be continued? Many teachers in the Board Schools were particularly anxious that the religious teaching which they had the pleasure of giving, should not fall below that given in the Voluntary Schools. The religious teaching in many of the Board Schools might thus be satisfactory to many in the present day, but they had to look at what it would be in the future. There were now seven education authorities who did not permit of any religious teaching in their Schools. How many might there be if this Bill became law? Another point for consideration was the question of cost. If the Bill passed it would be a great expense to the country. The present Government when they came into office, professed to be going to reduce the expenditure of the country, yet they at once propose to spend a £1,000,000 more in connection with education, from which sum the country would not get any educational benefit whatever. This £1,000,000 we were to pay for a settlement of the religious question, but it did not settle it. It made a hundredfold worse a religious difficulty which had never existed in the schools except in a few isolated cases. There would be no return for the £1,000,000 expended, nor did this sum represent a fraction of what would have to be paid. Seeing that a child educated in a Board School cost upwards of £2 10s. a year, while a child in a Voluntary School cost less than £1 on the average. Under the Bill we should have to pay £1 10s. extra a year for each of the 2½ million children now educated in Voluntary Schools. Under the provisions of the Bill there would be three Commissioners appointed who, unless terms were arranged between the School Trustees and the Education Authority by January 1st, 1907, would step in and compel the schools to be given up. The power of freewill of the Trustees and Managers would be taken away if no arrangements were made with the Education Authority. He knew of no court of inquiry such as this since the days of the Star Chamber. There had not been either before or since the days of the Star Chamber in this country anything like it, for there was no power to appeal against the decision of the Commissioners. He would advise all Trustees to adopt the same course as it was proposed to adopt in Lancashire, viz., to refuse to enter into any arrangement with the Education Authority. A grave responsibility rested upon the trustees of the Voluntary Schools, for they were bound to see the children were brought up in the faith of the Church. They must be firm. If they refused to come to terms with the Education Authority, there were 14,000 Voluntary Schools, and if only 10,000 would determine to hold fast to their trusts, there would be 10,000 cases to come before the three Commissioners. Consequently the Commissioners would not get through the work in their lifetime. This standing fast to their trust deeds would be the strongest resistance possible. All could work with this aim in view in their respective districts. And it was most important to spread a knowledge of the value of definite Church teaching as compared with merely the general principles of the Bible, which were to be taught under the Bill. The child could not - no child could be taught anything without going over and over again the same point, so you could not teach religion except by dogma, that is, by rule, any more that you could teach arithmetic except by rule. Thus whether it was in schools belonging to the Church of England, Roman Catholic or Non-conformist all must realise the importance of teaching to each child some definite faith if religion was to be of any service to it in after life. The Bill was a direct attack upon the Church of England by robbing her of her schools. The religious teaching was not to be done during school hours, consequently most of the children would not come to it. If the Church was disestablished and disendowed, money and enthusiasm would surmount the difficulty, but if we lost the religious training of our children, the loss could not be recovered. If the rights of Roman Catholics were going to be respected, why should not the rights of the members of the Church of England also be respected? This robbery of our schools which the Bill proposed, was a greater evil than the disestablishment and disendowment of the Church would take from us, that which had built up and made England the country she now was. It was because those assembled were a body of church officers, and because of the work in saving our schools that each one could do, that he had ventured to address the Council on the subject.
Dr. Carpenter said there was little to report on behalf of the Peal Collection Committee. The work was going on, the fourth sheet of Double Norwich having been printed. There were difficulties in pushing on the work, which were unavoidable.
The President said he was sure the whole of the Council would agree with him in an expression of sincere regret at the great loss Mr. Dains had suffered during the year, and doubtless this had somewhat delayed the work.
The Bell News and Ringers’ Record June 16, 1906, pages 122 to 123
CONDITION OF RINGS.
The President said this work had now come to an end. The committee was appointed in 1897, and in 1898 it made a report. It was resolved to send out circulars asking certain questions to all the eight, ten, and twelve-bell towers in the country. The total number of circulars so sent was 1055, of these 26 went to twelve-bell towers, 104 to ten-bell towers, and 925 to eight-bell towers. Of these replies were received 22 from twelve-bell towers, 99 from ten-bell towers, and 819 from eight-bell towers, making a total of 940 replies. No replies however had been received from 115 towers, which comprised 4 twelve-bell towers, 8 ten-bell towers, and 106 eight-bell towers. The replies showed steel frames in 195, timber frames in 745. There were 834 rings pealable, 45 unpealable, and 61 unringable. Clocking was permitted in 209, and there were 39 towers in which it was stated that the soundbow of some bell was worn. Repairs were recommended in 75 towers, but only in 20 of these had the recommendation received attention. In 27 towers it was stated that the bells were well looked after, and in 19 no care was taken of them. Unprofessional bellhangers had been employed in 28 towers. In 68 towers there were chiming apparatus fitted, and dumb practice apparatus in 7 towers. Change-ringing was not practised in 223 towers, while there were 292 in which one method was rung, and 359 in which more than one, and 76 towers in which Double Norwich or Surprise methods were rung. In 544 towers there was Sunday ringing for two services, in 95 for one service, in 119 only occasional, and in 182 none. Regular weekly or fortnightly practice took place in 726 towers, and in 214 there was no practice. In seven towers the ringing-chamber was reported to be noisy. He regretted there were so many towers in which clocking was permitted, this was very dangerous, and should as far as possible be stopped, as it often happened that it was the cause of cracking a good bell. On the whole the report was more satisfactory than it was at first thought would be the case. Of course, as they were all aware, a great many repairs had been recently effected, as no doubt bellfounders could tell them. It appeared that the care of the bells had come more home to the authorities, and this was very gratifying. It was however to be regretted that twenty -eight unprofessional hangers had been employed. It would be well for representatives to look into these matters. Clockmakers should also be looked after, and not permitted to do work in the tower except under the supervision of an experienced bellhanger. It was not very satisfactory to find there were still 223 towers in which there was no change-ringing, but at the same time it would be seen that in 359 towers there was more than one method practised, against 292 in which only one method was rung. Another satisfactory feature was that in 76 Double Norwich and Surprise methods were rung, as also was the fact that there was Sunday ringing for two services in no less than 544 towers. This was very encouraging, for the primary object should be the ringing for Sunday services. It was to be regretted there should be 182 in which no Sunday ringing took place, and it was hoped there would be an improvement in this respect. There were many places where there was said to be a weekly practice, but it did not always come off. It was hoped that weekly practice would be encouraged. He feared that in some towers where there was ringing for both Sunday services that that was often made a practice. This was not as it should be. All should do their best on Sundays, that only which could be well rung should be attempted, and relegate that which wanted practice to practice-night. The work had given the Exercise an insight into what was going on in the country, and some idea of the condition all round. He had not placed the report before the rest of his committee, as it was merely a summary of the reports received, and required no consideration before being submitted to the Council.
The Rev. H. L. James said there had been two unprofessional bellhangers at work in his district. The difficulty was how to step in, as in many places the advice of the sexton would stand first. He thought some good might be done if the Council issued a statement setting forth the evils of the practice, so that it could be shown as an authority beyond one’s own opinion.
The Rev. F. J. O. Helmore said this had been done in the Council’s issue “On the Preservation of Bells.”
The Rev. H. L. James said he doubted if much good could be achieved this way, as possibly such pamphlets would find their way into the waste-paper basket. In one case a sum of £80 was spent when £200 was wanted, with the result that the £80 was to a large extent wasted. It made one’s blood boil to see this kind of thing go on, especially when he had to raise £200 for his church.
The Rev. M. Kelly said he found that the authorities were becoming more alive to the need of getting proper people to do the work. This was found to be the case down in the west of England. Forty years ago there were not many towers in which a 120 could be rung, now it was very different. He thought much good had been by the various Associations. Could the necessary information as to what was required in each Association’s district be furnished? if so he thought it would be very useful.
The President said he would look into the matter, and if possible the suggestion should be acted upon.
Mr. Daniell said the articles published in The Guardian touched upon the very points referred to by the Rev. H. Law James. If the clergy were readers of that journal - and many country clergymen were supposed to take in The Guardian - the articles could not fail to have come under their notice.
The Rev. T. L. Papillon said there was very little known among the clergy- except those that were ringers - about change-ringing, consequently they (the clergy) did not understand the great difference even when experts were employed. He had known of a case in which the sexton was consulted as to clocking, and the reply was that no harm would be done. That was one way in which good advice was received. It was to be hoped that when good advice was given it would be accepted and acted upon.
Mr. H. Dains said if Mr. Law James sent such people as he had referred to some copies of “The Bell News,” they would see there were professional bellhangers.
The Rev. H. A. Cockey said a copy of the Council’s publication on the Preservation of Bells was sent to every tower in his district where there was a ring of bells, but no doubt some of the clergy or ringers even who received it had by the time repairs were to be done, forgotten all about it. He thought some good might be done if Secretaries of Associations kept by them a few copies of the publication, and whenever a ring in a bad order came under their notice, sent a copy of the publication to those concerned who might, when they found there was something wrong with their bells, read the publication, and there learn the danger of entrusting otherwise than to a professional bellhanger.
The Rev. H. Law James said the difficulty was in getting at the authorities before the order was given, as it often happened that the money had been spent before advice could be given.
The Rev. H. Drake said the authorities would not read such publications unless there was first something to rouse their interest. He would propose the issue of a pamphlet in which should be made clear the danger of clocking, and setting forth the advantages of calling in expert advice. There was not so much difficulty in eight-bell towers as there was in the case of the smaller rings. It was when a ring was to be increased that the mischief was often done. If a pamphlet was sent to every incumbent it would cost £30 and it would no doubt be money well spent. It was a suggestion which could be carried out by the various Associations with advantage to themselves, as they could at the same time bring their own Associations under the notice of those not members, and the result would be more subscribers to their own funds, and thus it would well repay the Associations to take the matter up. He was afraid the report must not be taken to be so good, as on the face it appeared especially where the return was made by the sexton, consequently some discount must be allowed, as the sexton would be the last person to complain of anything wrong in the tower.
The President said the returns were made by competent representatives who where ringers.
The Rev. W. W. C. Baker, in proposing a vote of thanks, did not think a half-sheet of note-paper would be read any more than the publication already sent round. He agreed with Mr. Kelly that there was already a great improvement in many towers, and could bear testimony to two in his own district in which formerly no Sunday ringing was ever heard. Now there was regular ringing for both Sunday services.
Mr. A. T. King, in seconding, said he could re-echo all that Mr. Baker had said. The improvement that was going on was satisfactory. The question was what should be done with the malefactors. It might be best to go on gradually. There were some of the ringing clergy who deserved their thanks for what had been done, and there were others who would have to get help before all would be done that was needed. He would say to all, if you cannot get your Rector into the belfry, get the curate.
The Rev. H. L. James did not think the proposal would do any good. If the Council could in any way rouse the Archdeacons to their responsibilities, some good might be done.
The Rev. C. E. Matthews considered it would be better to approach the Rural Deans; Archdeacons would not climb into a belfry.
The Rev. H. J. Elsee suggested that a letter be written to the Press signed by the President and Hon. Secretary, stating that an enquiry had been concluded, and the result with the hope that such communication might come under the notice of the clergy and churchwardens where repairs were wanted.
The Rev. H. L. James seconded.
The President said it would be remembered that when the work was first taken in hand, it was proposed to send out a pamphlet stating in strong language the condition of things proved to exist. But things were not so bad as had been expected. He considered if the suggestion by Mr. Elsee were adopted, it would meet the case.
The former resolution having been withdrawn, the following was adopted on the proposition of the Rev. H. J. Elsee, seconded by the Rev. H. L. James, “that the President be requested to tabulate the chief results of enquiry into the condition of rings, and communicate them in the form of a letter or article to the Press together with any practical points on the care of bells which may be suggested thereby.”
Mr. Daniell read the following report: “The work of preparing a short descriptive catalogue agreed upon at the meeting of the Council last year, is in hand. Mr. Dains and Mr. Daniell have carried on investigations at the library of the British Museum, and a large amount of material has been got together. In fact that part of the work was nearly completed. They were however obliged to inform their colleagues on the Committee that they were unable before Whitsuntide to circulate the draft catalogue for their revision and approval. They thought however if the Council saw fit to re-appoint the Committee, it will not be long before the work would be completed.”
The Bell News and Ringers’ Record June 23, 1906, pages 135 to 136
ALTERATION OF RULES.
The President proposed, and the Hon. Secretary seconded, the following alteration of rules which were adopted.
(a) That in the thirteenth line of the second Rule the word “fifteen” be substituted for the word “twelve.”
(b) That in the first line of the sixth Rule the word “Easter” be replaced by the word “Whitsuntide.”
(c) That to the tenth Rule be added the words - “That every new member, whether Representative or Honorary, shall, before taking his seat, be introduced by an old Member to the President, or, in the absence of the President, to the Chairman of the Meeting.”
NEXT YEAR’S MEETING.
The President said a pressing invitation had been received by the Standing Committee for next year’s meeting to be held at Manchester. The Council had hitherto observed a rota of two Midland meetings, then north and south, then west and east. The two last meetings had been north and south, viz., York and Canterbury, so now to follow their usual plan the Council should next year go west, and follow that by going east. It had been suggested that the next meeting should be at Exeter, and probably the following year at either Ipswich or Cambridge. Manchester would fit in for the year following the triennial election.
The Rev. H. J. Elsee said he had hoped that the invitation to Manchester might have been accepted. They did not wish however to be selfish, and trusted that if the Council went to Exeter next year, and followed by going to either Cambridge or Ipswich, that they might look forward to a visit to Manchester after the next London meeting. True they had not such picturesque country as might be found in some parts, but he could assure the Council that when it did visit Manchester there would be a most hearty welcome. He thought he might claim that Lancashire had shown its interest in the work of the Council by sending four representatives to the Council meeting.
The Rev. M. Kelly said he could also assure the Council that if it was decided to go to Exeter next year, there would be a most hearty welcome. There was a time when no change-ringing took place west of Bristol; now however there had been an advance, and it was possible to get a peal of Grandsire Caters, which was something to be proud of. He could assure the Council that the Dean and Chapter would give them a most hearty welcome. He was glad that the Chapter had decided that there should be no attempt to ring a peal of Royal single-handed; such a strain upon human nature never ought to be allowed.
Mr. Trollope said he thought the question of distance should be considered. There was not a large meeting at Canterbury, and the same with York.
The President said both these meetings were successes.
The Rev. C. E. Matthews said that which was best for the Exercise at large should be the aim.
The Rev. M. Kelly moved that next year’s meeting be held at Exeter.
The Rev. G. F. Coleridge seconded. He said that Exeter was the centre of the west, which could be reached from London in three-and-a-half hours. He could assure the Council that it would get as warm a welcome as anywhere.
The resolution was carried.
The Rev. H. L. James said when the report was referred back to the Committee at last year’s meeting, there was a request that it should be published as early as possible in “The Bell News.” The first draft of the report was prepared on July 24th, and the second on December 4th. It was sent for publication in “The Bell News” in the middle of January in a registered envelope, in consequence of a former report having been lost. It was sent with a request that a proof should be forwarded as early as possible, since it was important that the report should not only appear perfectly correct, but quickly, in order that the whole could be discussed. No proof however was received till April. An apology was sent him, but he thought an apology was due to the whole Exercise. The report was of a highly technical nature, and required very careful consideration. Instead of appearing in April it ought to have appeared in January. The rev. gentleman having given this explanation, proceeded with the report as printed in “The Bell News” for April 28th. He commenced by explaining the word “adjacent” at the very commencement of the report. He did not, he said, like the word, and there was a division of opinion among the Committee, the term “Imperial” instead having been suggested, as was also the word “adjoining.”
Mr. Dains said there were two kinds of Imperial Places.
A discussion of a purely technical nature followed between Mr. Law James and Mr. Dains, with the result that the word “Imperial” was finally adopted in lieu of “adjacent.” The whole of the remaining portion of the report was read through, and Mr. James concluded by moving its adoption.
Mr. Trollope, who seconded, had no doubt the report was difficult to grasp, but he thought if studied, it would be fairly understood.
The Rev. H. Law James said as many methods as people choose to send him, he would put in it.
The Rev. H. Drake said within two hours of receiving “The Bell News” in which the report appeared, he prepared the tabulated form which the previous week appeared in “The Bell News,” with the hope that it would appear and be discussed previous to the meeting. Unfortunately he only received the proof so late that there was not sufficient time to correct it before the form appeared in print. There were a number of mistakes, and it would be better understood if printed as he had himself suggested, particular portions in small capitals, another in capital letters, and another in italics. He thought the report would be much better understood in tabular classification. He should like to see the report revised and reprinted with a tabular form.
The Rev. H. L. James said a tabular form was prepared before the report was printed, but he did not think it desirable to print it in “The Bell News.” There was a number of mistakes in the report. An attempt had certainly been made to carry out the suggestions, but it was not very satisfactory. If properly printed, be saw no reason why a tabular form should not be added, and thought it would be desirable to print certain parts of the report in red.
The President said in adopting the report it should be understood that the Council did not tie itself to accept the definitions given for all time. The whole science of ringing was so complicated that it would doubtless be found that to investigate the matter further as time went on would result in changed definitions. A large section of the Exercise were not able to give the time for the study of knowledge that was required to go thoroughly into these details. The whole essence of the Art depended upon its scientific aspect. They should not forget the principles upon which the Art exists, and the extreme importance of such a report. In the old days no one knew what they were doing; each went to work in his own way. It was through the help of the Council that there had been this inquiry into the underlying principles of the Art. As knowledge advanced so they must go on. They must not say that that which appeared in The Glossary was wrong. It was as it was found in its day. So with the present report: it was as found in the present day. In the future it might be gone further into with altered results. No scientific man could say that such a report was final, and therefore it was not desirable to claim it as such. A great effort had been made to classify, and the Committee were entitled to the thanks of the Council for the work that had been done, for the scientific part of the Art had been advanced, and a store of knowledge had been laid up, which would be valuable to those who would follow.
The Rev. H. Drake asked if the report would be re-published after revision.
Mr. H. Dains said he would like some plain English. He was not a Cambridge man with honours. Could not some other words in place of “Pasallatria” and “Pasallatessara” methods be found?
The Rev. H. Law James said the report was incomplete; the methods ought to be classified.
The President said the Committee should go on with the work. It would be a pity to curtail it.
The Rev. H. Law James said whatever methods were sent in he was confident he could put them in.
Mr. J. Carter said if the report was sent back to the Committee, it would be desirable to have a meeting, as the work could be far better done than by correspondence.
The President said the report having been already adopted, the question of printing it could be left over till the work had been gone further into. He would suggest that the Committee go on with the work, and report to the next meeting. He thought Mr. Carter’s suggestion most excellent, as no doubt if the Committee could meet it would save a great deal of time at the Council meeting.
The Rev. F. E. Robinson proposed, and the Rev. H. Drake seconded a resolution thanking the Committee, and asking them to continue the work, and report to the next Council meeting, and this was adopted.
POINTS FOR PEALS.
Mr. Story said the Committee had gone carefully into the question of points to be allowed for peals as referred to them last year. The Committee recommended that 36 points should be given for seven 720s in Surprise methods on six bells; 50 for fourteen 360s in Surprise methods on six bells; 18 for seven 720s on six bells in broken leads; and 22 for Double Norwich Caters. He was pleased to say that in arriving at this conclusion they had had the assistance of Mr. Attree.
The Rev. H. L. James asked if the fourteen 360s were recognised as a peal.
Mr. Story said the Committee had taken the matter up in the terms of reference,
The President said it was not necessary upon this report to go into that question.
Dr. Carpenter asked if it had been decided to recognise fourteen 360s.
Mr. Story said he was not sure if twenty-one 240s ought not to be recognised.
The President said the original decision of the Council had been rescinded because of the difficulties that arose. At the present time the Council did not undertake to say what was a peal of Doubles or a peal of Minor.
Mr. G. Bolland said he considered the same number of points should be given for seven 720s in Surprise methods as were allowed for a peal of Surprise Major, since there was more work in the seven 720s than in a peal of Major. With respect to the number of points for peals with broken leads, he considered 25 points should be allowed instead of 18 as recommended.
Mr. Attree said the Committee had a plan which was adopted in deciding the matter. In the seven 720s there were only six ringers, but in a peal of Major there were eight. He was of opinion that the larger number of ringers should be the highest number of points. It was more easy to get six men than it is to get eight, and in the same way it was more easy to keep six men together than eight. Working upon this principle he thought the points allowed were correct.
Mr. Griffin proposed the recommendation be adopted.
The Rev. H. Drake asked if the Committee had considered the question of allowing twice as many points for handbell peals rang double-handed as were allowed for peals upon tower bells, which question was referred to the Committee at last year’s meeting.
Mr. Story said the Committee had not gone into this, not knowing it was referred to them.
The Rev. H. Drake asked if the Committee could not add this decision on this point to their report.
Mr. Attree said the matter would not take long. His own opinion was that a peal on handbells was not worth double the number of points. When a ringer once got into the knack of ringing double-handed there was not much difficulty in keeping going. Under the circumstances he did not think it right to pass a resolution upon the matter that day.
Mr. W. T. Cockerill said he disagreed altogether in allowing points. It was bringing the Exercise down to the level of cricket and football. It was a matter upon which there was some considerable feeling, especially in London.
Mr. H. Dains said sometimes the tenor in a peal upon twelve bells was rung by two men.
The Rev. H. Drake asked if the Committees report could not be amended by adding that double the number of points should be allowed for peals rung upon handbells.
The President said the Council had not gone into the matter.
The Rev. H. Drake said he would move a resolution in accordance with his suggestion.
Mr. King said there was a reference made to the Committee last year, and the Committee had not yet reported. He considered it should go to the Committee for report.
Mr. E. Barnett said he objected to the question of points for peals rung, either upon tower on handbells.
A member of the Council said he considered if points were allowed, there should be some regulation as to what society a ringer should ring peals, while in some cases a band was picked from different parts, which was not fair if points were allowed.
The resolution moved by Mr. Griffin having been seconded by the Rev. E. W. Carpenter, was adopted.
On the proposition of the Rev. H. A. Cockey, seconded by the Rev. C. E. Matthews, the Points Committee were requested to consider the question of points for peals rung double-handed, and to report to the next Council Meeting.
The Bell News and Ringers’ Record June 30, 1906, pages 147 to 149
Mr. Trollope said in the absence of Mr. Borrett he was requested to call attention to the fact that the last publication of the Analysis of peals issued under the authority of the Council was on December 31st, 1904, the returns being those for the year 1903. In doing so he hoped it would be at once understood there was not the slightest intention to cast any reflection or censure upon those who had previously done this work, because it had not appeared. He thought that if there was to be an Analysis, some arrangement should be made for the work to be done. If the Council saw fit to carry it on, then it was necessary that some arrangement should be made.
Mr. A. T. King said that he understood that it was Mr. Borrett’s intention, had he been present, to have proposed that the Analysis should be prepared annually, and that arrangements be made by the Council to carry it on. He should like to see it brought up to date. The Analysis as prepared by Mr. Attree was very interesting to all who wished to find out how ringing was progressing.
Mr. Attree said for some years he did the work, but not having the time to carry it on he secured the co-operation of Mr. Baker, who ultimately did all the work. Mr. Baker however was no longer able to find the necessary time, and that was the reason why it had not appeared. If some could be found to do the work no one would be more pleased than himself. It was about fifteen years since he first commenced giving the Analysis, but it was now impossible for him or Mr. Baker to do the work.
Mr. King said if it was desirable that the work should go on, could it not be done by a Committee. He thought it a pity for an Analysis not to be prepared. In case Mr. Attree no longer had the time, possibly some young man could be found willing to do it.
Mr. Pritchett asked if there was not some clergyman living in some quiet country vicarage who would give the necessary time to do such a laudable work.
The Rev. F. J. O. Helmore said last year he suggested that the Analysis should be prepared, and the work paid for, and he still thought this should he done. With Mr. King he thought that the various Associations should pay their share towards it.
The President thought there might be a difficulty in getting the Associations to pay.
The Rev. H. Drake proposed, and the Hon. Secretary seconded a vote of thanks to Mr. Attree for his services in the past.
The Rev. F. E. Robinson said if the work was to go on it must be done by one person. He failed to see how a Committee could carry it on.
Mr. Pritchett moved that the matter be referred to the Standing Committee, and if necessary the work to be paid for.
The President said it would be a question as to where the money was to come from. Besides in the ordinary course the Standing Committee would not meet till next year.
Mr. Pritchett withdrew his proposal.
The Rev. F. J. O. Helmore said his suggestion last year was that £5 be paid, but it was a question of funds, but that nobody voted for this.
Mr. Trollope said if the matter was referred to a small Committee, it could be gone into in order to see if it was possible to carry it out. Possibly some one might be found willing to do the work. At present no one knew exactly what there was to do.
Mr. Barnett said he understood from the remarks of Mr. King that he knew of some one who would do the work.
Mr. King said he thought it would be better to have a small Committee, especially as there was some back work to be got through.
Dr. Carpenter suggested that the Hon. Secretary should endeavour to get some one to undertake the work.
Mr. H. White asked if it had been decided that the Analysis should be continued.
The Rev. H. Drake said he agreed with Mr. King that if the Analysis was to be continued, it would be better to have a small Committee.
Mr. Catchpole moved, and Mr. Hopgood seconded, that the last part of the proposal as it appeared upon the agenda be struck out.
The President said the Analysis was of great importance to ringers throughout the country. If this resolution was carried and became the substantive motion, it must be carried by a two-thirds majority in accordance with the rules.
The resolution was lost.
The Rev. H. Drake moved that the following form a Committee: Messrs. King, Trollope, Borrett and Griffin.
Mr. King seconded, adding the Rev. H. Drake.
Mr. Barnett said if the question of points was omitted, it would be more easy to prepare the Analysis.
Mr. Griffin suggested that each Association should do its own, and the Standing Committee of the Council put the whole together.
Mr. King said if this was done, it would be necessary to bind them down to have the work completed within three months of the end of the year.
Mr. Attree said it would be impossible to work on this plan; many of the Associations would not send the returns.
Mr. Daniell said he considered it would be much better for the Analysis to be continued, as it showed the work that was going on in various parts of the country.
The President said the Analysis helped in leading companies to ring higher methods.
The resolution was adopted by a large majority, only three voting against.
The Council being reminded at this point by the Rev. F. E. Robinson that the Standing Committee had not been re-elected, it was deemed expedient by the President to take the election of this and the other Committees immediately. The following were appointed to the Standing Committee, viz.: the President and Hon. Secretary, the Revs. H. A. Cockey, G. F. Coleridge and F. E. Robinson, with Messrs. G. F. Attree, H. Dains, R. A. Daniell, J. Griffin, R. S. Story and W. Snowdon.
Peal Collection Committee: Dr. A. B. Carpenter, Mr. H. Dains and the Hon. Secretary.
Church Press Committee: Revs. H. A. Cockey, M. Kelly, T. L. Papillon, Messrs. H. Dains and R. A. Daniell.
Points’ Committee: Messrs. G. F. Attree, J. Carter, H. Dains and R. S. Story.
Legitimate Methods’ Committee: Revs. H. L. and E. B. James, Messrs. J. Carter, H. Dains and J. A. Trollope.
THE WANT OF EMPLOYMENT.
Mr. Willshire, in bringing forward the last item upon the agenda, viz., “To discuss the possibility of establishing a Labor Bureau for the benefit of members of the Exercise,” said he was somewhat surprised such a proposal had not been previously brought forward. Ringers were a large body, and there were a number of them out of employment. If the Council could secure a registry office to which ringers could send in their names when in want of employment, these names could be sent to those employers of labour who might be in want of men, and thus employment might be obtained. He considered if some such scheme was pushed forward it would prove to be very useful and beneficial to a large section of the Exercise. As to making any charge, that was a matter to be discussed. He would move that the Council take steps to establish a Labor Bureau.
Mr. H. White seconded. He said he considered a Labor Bureau would not only help ringers, but assist employers of labour in getting good men, as they would, when in want of a man, be able to send to the registry office and ascertain if there was a suitable man upon the books. On the whole he believed it would be for the welfare of the Exercise at large.
The Rev. M. Kelly had no doubt that the idea was a good one, but it wanted organization.
Mr. Willshire did not think there was much organization required, provided the clergy would push the matter well to the front. The chief thing required was for some one to act as registrar.
Mr. Daniell said the difficulty he saw was in employers finding out what men were, through such a register, seeking employment.
The Hon. Secretary said he failed to see how the clergy could push the matter. Probably if a registrar could be secured who would keep a book in which were entered the names of men wanting work, and the names of employers wanting men, some good could be done in bringing the employer and the workman together, but as to how the clergy could push this to the front we was at a loss to know.
The Rev. H. A. Cockey did not want to throw cold water on the proposal. There was however a great difficulty about the idea. Suppose the Council elected some one, and there were 100 names upon the register, how were the employers to know. He did not think that there would be many names upon the books at any one time, but to make it work well there should be a fairly full register on both sides. As to the clergy he failed to see except by chance when one that was a ringer, how they could assist. He had been able to secure work for lads from his own village at Bristol: and no doubt other clergymen had done the same for lads in other towns. The difficulty would be in getting employers to make applications, which he feared would be very few.
The Rev. M. Kelly said he agreed with the last speaker. For one man to act for the whole ringing fraternity would be a large order. If adopted there must be machinery to work it.
The Hon. Secretary said he did not see how employers were to know of the men on the books just the same with men wanting work: how could they know of an employer who wanted men. If instead of a small country parish he had a large town in which there was a tower with a ring of twelve, he should know when one of the ringers was out of employment and should do all he could for him, but he did not see how a Labor Bureau would bring such a man in touch with an employer.
The Rev. C. E. Matthews said the proposal would mean some expense; as to do any good there must be advertisements not only in the ringing papers but in other journals.
The Rev. W. W. C. Baker said the proposal was one which might sometimes help to get a good ringer employment in a town where his services would be useful as a ringer. He had known a number of men obtain employment, but seldom heard of a good ringer.
The Rev. H. J. Elsee said he thought it was ringers themselves who could best find out vacant places of employment. He had sometimes been applied to, and had always offered, as soon as it was found out where a man was wanted, to do his best to help the applicant to secure it. It was for the man himself to keep his eyes open, and then something could be done for him.
Mr. Pritchett said it seemed somewhat difficult to suggest that the Council should become a kind of agency between ringers and employers of labour, few of whom were ringers. If ringers were large employers of labour it might be advisable to adopt some such idea as proposed since; in such a case ringers could go to employers who might employ them in preference to those who were not ringers. He did not think it feasible to set up any bureau of the kind proposed.
The Rev. H. Drake said he had been appealed to by employers, and had referred them to the columns of “The Bell News,” with the result that good men had been obtained and he had been thanked for this. He supported the idea of a Committee.
Mr. Hughes said the question was a difficult problem to deal with. He thought that ringers could do more for themselves than the Council could, by setting up a bureau.
Mr. Daniell said be would be willing to act for a time, and that if ringers when in want of employment would send their names to him, anything he could possibly do should be done. He would publish the particulars in “The Bell News,” and any employers who inquired at his office, should have all particulars given of any man likely to suit, whose name was upon the books. One condition would be that in the event of anyone securing employment whose name was upon the books, he must immediately let him know.
Mr. Willshire accepted Mr. Daniell’s offer, and withdrew his resolution.
The President said the Council had neither funds or standing officials to undertake such work which did not come within its province, and he thought they should be very grateful to Mr. Daniell for his generous offer.
Mr. Griffin asked if it would not be desirable to have the whole report of the Council meeting in one issue of “The Bell News.” Other matter could be held over, or if necessary the price for one week could be increased.
The President said he considered the present system in giving the report in sections the best, as ringers took more interest in having a portion each time, whereas if the whole report appeared in one issue, it would not be so carefully read; besides some time was necessary to go through the whole of the matter before it appeared in print.
On the motion of the Rev. F. E. Robinson, seconded by Mr. Griffin, a vote of thanks was passed to the President.
This concluded the meeting.
The Bell News and Ringers’ Record July 7, 1906, pages 159 to 161